Home care workers travel to the moon and back—17,462 times a year, according to a new study.
Specifically, home care aides, nurses and therapists who serve elderly, disabled and chronically ill patients across the United States drove 7.88 billion miles and made more than 718 million home care visits in 2013.
Of these 718 million visits, about 218 million were Medicare home health and hospice visits, and about 338 million were Medicaid home care visits.
These and other study findings were reported by the Foundation for Hospice and Homecare, an affiliate of the National Association for Home Care & Hospice (NAHC), at a press conference on Dec. 15 in Washington, D.C.
The findings revealed that the estimated total number of miles driven by home care providers has increased considerably in recent years. In 2006, for instance, the estimated number of miles driven in home care services totaled 4.76 billion. According to a press release on the study findings, the rise in miles traveled over the last seven years can mainly be attributed to increases in Medicaid home care, Medicare home health growth and Medicare hospice utilization.
The average number of miles per visit in the U.S. in 2013 totaled 10.97, the study found. The state that recorded the highest average miles per visit that year was Maine, with 35.2.
Written by Mary Kate Nelson